The Week In Sports Betting: All Eyes On A Different Congressional Hearing

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It’s been an exhausting week of news, both for topics related to sports betting and for issues much more fundamental to the future of the United States.

All eyes were fixed on the nation’s capital, ours included. For the first time after the US Supreme Court decision in May, sports betting was the subject of a federal hearing.

We’ll begin in the … (*takes deep breath*) … United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation.

Add sports betting to the list of things they might eventually deal with, apparently?

Congressional subcommittee “explores” sports betting

Thursday’s hearing looked at sports betting at the very surface level, at least.

Members of Congress fielded testimony from two advocates of state-level regulation, two opponents of gambling expansion in general, and the NFL, more-or-less representing the stance of the professional sports leagues. It was a cursory discussion lasting less than 90 minutes.

Opponent Les Bernal was easily the most entertaining character in the show. The veins in his forehead struggled mightily as he cited the dangers of gambling, calling states “laboratories of fraud.” It’s a truly beautiful phrase, but he didn’t provide any facts to support it.

It was also amusing to see the NFL testify that it did not seek sweeping changes at the federal level … and then ask for a bunch of sweeping changes at the federal level.

Frighteningly, Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner walked away feeling that everyone in the room agreed on the need for Congress to intervene. It’s a strange way to summarize the testimony we watched, but it wasn’t the worst take of the morning. Not by a long shot.

Read back through the live blog for more quotes and context. If that’s too laborious, read these five highlights instead.

News from states

The federal hearing took up enough of the spotlight this week to make headlines at the state level a little thin. There wasn’t even much New Jersey sports betting news apart from the iOS launch of the William Hill app.

Elsewhere, though:

Takes and tidbits

If you watched that Congressional hearing, you’ve probably had your fill of takes both hot and cold this week. We skimmed a couple of sports betting tidbits that are worth a special mention, though.

If you want a little more content in your ears, the guys on TheLines Podcast broke down the week’s news in some depth. Check it:

That’s all, y’all. Have a good weekend.